Ugbo Street Food Crawl
Ugbo Street, Tondo, Manila – Since the world is slowly recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, al fresco dining and street food crawl has become popular by the hour. I have been curious about where in the Philippines have interesting food streets and luckily, I found one – Ugbo Street.
Located in Velasquez, near the Deca Mall in Tondo, Manila, “Ugbo” Street has since then been popular because of its al fresco dining vibe and the numerous interesting food items that I first saw here! It is literally a “food heaven.” I have personally known Ugbo because of its hype in social media, particularly on TikTok. Several content creators have visited Ugbo and it sparked my interest and I finally did visit the place.
Ugbo Street Food Crawl – Gastronomy at its best!
The outdoor dining setup of Ugbo is not a new concept for me but its ambiance is interesting. From the different stalls that offer eye-candy food items, it got me trapped in this food heaven. Before the pandemic, Ugbo Street was already known because of its lechon stands and now has already been a popular food market in Tondo, Manila.
The Ugbo Food Street usually starts at 1600 H (04:00 PM) until 0000 H (12:00 midnight). The street stretches around 300 meters and continues to grow by the day. There are a lot of food choices to look after and I assure you that you will not go home empty-handed.
Food Items I tried in Ugbo
When I visited Ugbo Street, I was surprised by the variety of food items available on the alley. From Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Western food, and everything sweet – you name it, they probably have it.
Here are some of the food we tried during our visit:
Magic Nitrogen Ice Cream Cereal Balls (₱ 150 / 12 pieces)
This food struck me at first glance because of its colorful appearance. These cereal balls are like rice crispies that are “cooked” in liquid nitrogen. Interestingly enough, these cereal balls are delicious on the inside, added by the mysterious liquid nitrogen for fancy eating.
Seafoods on stick (₱ 60 / stick)
There are a lot of varieties of pre-cooked seafood on sticks, be it from shrimps, crab balls, crab sticks, tofu, fish balls, and other food items that can be eaten on a stick. The pieces on each stick are big and surprisingly filling. You can get by in 2-3 sticks!
Kani Salad (₱ 100 / pack)
This healthy salad is one of the staples in Ugbo Street. Homemade Kani salad is as savory as the ones you can eat outside – but on the cheap! For only ₱ 100 per pack, you can enjoy a healthy bunch of vegetables, Japan style.
Rainbow Crepe (₱ 120 / crepe)
The Rainbow Pastel Crepe is probably one of the most popular finds in Ugbo. This is also personally my favorite food in the bunch (because of the hype, and) because it is sweet all over! You can choose from 3 variants of the crepe and they will do it in front of you! I can tell, it is worth the hype!
Mixed Fruits Shake (₱ 85 / cup)
If you are on the healthier side, there are also numerous stalls that offer mixed fruits shake. These are fruits that are currently in season and can vary from time to time. You can also request to make your shakes frothier or just as it is.
Fruit Coolers / Juice (₱ 99 / cup @ Buy 1 – Take 1)
There are a lot of fruits going on in Ugbo. From fruit shakes, now we go to fruit coolers and juices. It is perfectly fit because Manila weather can just be easily exhausting. They are also located everywhere within the strip so you will not get thirsty throughout your food crawl!
Sizzling Ice Cream (₱ 119 / serving)
This is probably your first time to hear the term “sizzling ice cream.” Yup! Me, too! It literally sizzles in front of you. The perfect balance of sweetness just makes the dessert a good food crawl ender. Thanks to Pooh-Bah Seafoods, Ribs, and Steak <link>, this one-of-a-kind dessert is worth the visit when you are in Ugbo. The sizzling ice cream even got a feature at a local TV show!
Korean Fish Cake (₱ 50 / stick)
This not-so-typical fish cake is also a must try in Ugbo. It is also found almost in every corner of the street and it is like the ingredients of shabu-shabu, but on a stick. Surprisingly, too, it is filling and is best paired with a fruit shake / cooler!
Ugbo Street as a Tourist Attraction
Like a typical night market, Ugbo is filled with all food possible on a short-but-narrow strip of road along Tondo, Manila. Interestingly, I have seen a variety of food choices, from Western, Asian (of course, Filipino included), and a little bit of Middle-Eastern. The variety of food available in Ugbo will not make you bored as every stall offers a unique experience.
What I have learned in college is that “the eyes eat first.” And true enough, every food and drink you see are aesthetic – pleasing to the eyes. You will also get to see “live shows” where you get to see people make the food right in front of your very eyes. From food tossing to creative presentations, this is the place to be.
How to get to Ugbo Street (Tondo, Manila)
From Blumentritt (Route 1)
Go to Rizal Avenue and look for a jeepney with a “Sta. Cruz Recto” or “Bambang” Sign then alight in Tayuman Street. Travel time to Tayuman Street is around 5 minutes and the fare is ₱ 13.00 (minimum). From BPI Tayuman, go to Tayuman Commercial Center. Ride a jeepney with “Herbosa Pritil” then alight in Dandan Street. Travel time is around 15 minutes and the fare is ₱ 13.00 (minimum).
From Blumentritt (Route 2)
From LRT Blumentritt Station, ride a train bound for Baclaran and alight at Tayuman Station. Train fare to Tayuman is ₱ 15.00 and travel time is approximately 2-5 minutes. From the LRT station, look for Jollibee Restaurant and walk towards the jeepney station located at the Tayuman Commercial Center. Ride a jeepney with Herbosa Pritil Sign and alight at Dandan Street (check at Google Maps). Travel Time is approximately 15 minutes. Fare is ₱ 13.00. Look for L en J salon, then look for jeepneys with the “Velasquez” Sign and tell the driver that you will alight at Ugbo Street. Travel Time is again approximately 15 minutes. Fare is ₱ 13.00.
|LRT Blumentritt to LRT Tayuman
|Tayuman Commercial Center to Dandan Street
|L en J Salon to Ugbo Street
From Monumento LRT, alight at Tayuman Station. Take the exit nearest Jollibee Tayuman and ride a jeepney in front of the Tayuman Commercial Center. Ride a jeepney with “Herbosa Pritil” sign and alight at Dandan Street. When in Dandan Street, ride another jeepney with “Velasquez” sign and tell the driver to drop you off in Ugbo Street. Minimum jeepney fares are ₱ 13.00 per way.
Take the LRT 2 Train Station in Araneta-Cubao and alight at Recto Station. Train tickets cost ₱ 23.00 – 25.00. Go to the exit nearest Odeon Mall. Ride a jeep going to Divisoria then alight in Southstar in Juan Luna Street. From Juan Luna street, walk your way to Padre Rada Street. In Padre Rada, ride a jeepney with a “Velasquez” sign and tell the driver to drop you off in Ugbo Street. The minimum jeepney fare is ₱ 13.00.
From Divisoria / Recto
From KP Tower Building on Rector Avenue, walk to Padre Rada Street. When near / across Jollibee Padre Rada, ride a jeepney with a “Velasquez” sign. Tell the driver to drop you off in Ugbo Street. Travel time is 15 to 20 minutes and minimum jeepney fare is ₱ 13.00.
From SM North EDSA
From the integrated terminal in SM North EDSA, ride a bus going to Roosevelt LRT 1 Station. Minimum bus fare is around ₱ 15.00. From Roosevelt LRT, ride the train going to Tayuman (Baclaran-bound train). Fare is around ₱ 30.00 – 32.00. Take the exit near Jollibee Tayuman and walk to Tayuman Commercial Building.
Ride a jeepney with “Herbosa Pritil” sign and alight at Dandan Street. When in Dandan Street, ride another jeepney with “Velasquez” sign and tell the driver to drop you off in Ugbo Street. Minimum jeepney fares are ₱ 13.00 per way.
We’re born to travel!